Dutch government announces Wednesday’s relaxations will go ahead
As hospital admissions continue to fall, the Dutch government has announced that a handful of coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday, May 19.
Number of coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals falls
Last week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) were hesitant to rush into the next stage of lifting lockdown, stating that certain restrictions would be lifted on May 19 only if hospital admissions fell by 20 percent and that a final decision on the matter would be taken on May 17.
On Monday, the government confirmed that the relaxations would be going ahead as planned, as hospital admissions had fallen significantly over the past week. On Sunday, the number of patients being treated for coronavirus in intensive care fell for the eleventh day in a row. There are now 2.152 coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals - almost 300 fewer than last Monday - 686 of whom are in intensive care.
Gyms, zoos, libraries and theme parks to open on May 19
This news means several restrictions will be lifted from Wednesday. Terraces will be permitted to open from 6am to 8pm, outdoor team sports will once again be allowed, and theme parks, gyms, zoos, brothels and libraries will reopen after months of being closed to the public.
At the press conference on May 11, Rutte said that the next press conference wouldn’t take place until June 1, putting the Netherlands two weeks behind the schedule set out in the government’s five-step plan for lifting lockdown. However, a source in The Hague has suggested that relaxations could happen earlier if hospital admissions continue to decline at a rapid pace.